Attorneys group demands life sentence for Slager

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Washington-based attorneys group is demanding a life sentence for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager.

Slager is waiting to be sentenced for violating Walter Scott's civil rights when he shot and killed Scott during a traffic stop on April 4, 2015. Scott fled the scene and Slager said the two wound up in a scuffle during which Scott grabbed Slager's stun gun. Slager said he was forced to fatally shoot Scott as a result.

The president of Black Lawyers for Justice is concerned Slager will get a light sentence or probation.

Malik Shabazz spoke to reporters outside the federal courthouse annex in downtown Charleston Tuesday afternoon. Shabazz said Slager should get nothing short of a life sentence.

"Walter Scott was gunned down like a deer or like a dog," Shabazz said.

Slager faces anywhere from probation to life in prison when he gets sentenced by a federal judge.

Shabazz was joined by the chairman of the national New Black Panthers Party, Minister Hashim Nzinga, who said he is concerned about the plea agreement Slager's attorney made with prosecutors.

Slager pleaded guilty on May 2 to a federal charge of violating Scott's civil rights under the color of law in a plea deal that resulted in state charges against him being dropped.

"If the judge believes we are not serious about justice and we are more serious about forgiving than justice, Michael Slager can be back on the streets soon and we don't want that," Shabazz said.

"We're not going back to the 60s. We have paid our dues," Nzinga said. "Dr. King took the last bullet that we will let a black man take and we're standing up for justice."

Andy Savage, Slager's attorney, declined to comment on the remarks.

Walter Scott's family members have gone on record asking for a life sentence.

Shabazz said the $6 million settlement paid to the family does not give them justice.

"Stiff justice, not compromised justice," Shabazz said.

Shabazz says his organization will be in Charleston the day Michael Slager is sentenced.

Slager will be sentenced after the judge receives a pre-sentencing report.

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